Xanadu Weyr - Infirmary

The infirmary here is intended for human care. It is spotless and smells of disinfectant, cots are lined up against one wall, a curtain can be pulled to give some privacy to the occupants of the cots if they so desire. A cabinet stands off against another wall, instruments and medications stored against when they will be needed. A couple of curtained off beds are used for examinations of patients and the treatment of minor injuries which won't require long term care. A desk with chair is just off of the doorway for the healer to sit and catch up on record keeping after a long days work.

Since the early, incredibly unsociable hours of the morning, Isyriath has been hunkered down in the clearing, as close to the infirmary as he can get without trying to barge his way in. He's had the company of four firelizards to vaguely distract him from the fact that his rider is in pain; a pain that won't stop, but that he's been promised will go away eventually. It's a good pain! Or not. But he's not created absolute havoc over his girl's suffering, and nor has Marel herself made a scene in the infirmary. What she has managed to get herself is a bed in the corner, away from other people, and as dawn moves through to midday and then to afternoon, the reason for her presence in the infirmary finally makes an appearance. She's been on her own - apart from the Healers - for the whole thing, at her insistence, and about an hour after the baby's arrival, Marel is propped up in bed, the bundle in her arms enjoying the sleep that her mother could probably do with.

Mur'dah was told to stay away, and so he did, but he didn't like it. Now, with the invitation finally extended, Mur'dah makes his way into the infirmary, past Isyriath, towards that bed in the corner. "Hey, Mare," he says quietly as he approaches, smiling, and bearing flowers. Flowers he's cut himself, to judge from the dirt around his nails, as he sets the vase down on the bedside table and bends to offer her forehead a kiss. "How're you doing?"

Crossing the clearing at dawn: one headwoman who would have to be blind to miss yon hunkered brown dragon outside the infirmary. He's recognized, of course and so once the klahpots are brewing the stuff that kickstarts the Weyr into mobility, Darsce strides to the infirmary door to quietly ask if her half sister is injured or if it's… given the occasional glimpses she's had of her across distances and through crowds… that time. There's inner relief to the answer, a second look towards that corner but no start towards it. It could be because the healer murmurs Marel's preference to endure it without company. It's more likely a combination of reasons that takes her instead to her morning duties elsewhere. First though, having neither dragon nor firelizard to summon her, she'd asked to be updated via apprentice. So when that note arrived to her desk, she'd left her scheduling and come straightaway. On the infirmary's threshold she pauses to take a deep breath before crossing to that corner cot. She's just a tick behind Mur'dah, dressed for work in a top that's fashionable but unlike her normally tailored, body hugging style, it's loose-fitting, the pleats designed to drape rather than hug her abdomen. Mur'dah has flowers, Darsce…yeah, she's got nothing. Oops. "Hello." It's a quiet greeting given them both.

"…I'll be needing to forget how much that hurt if I want another one," Marel utters wearily, offering a weak smile for her twin when he kisses her forehead. "I don't suppose that the pollen in these does any good at blanking memories?" It's a dry joke, as she reaches to touch one of the flower petals with the edge of one finger, moving to momentarily wrap that arm around Mur'dah's shoulders, the baby supported with the other. "I'll need to get out to Isyriath later, but-" Faranth, not right now. Anywhen but right now. She shakes her head, shifting the dark-haired baby in her arms to make it easier to get a look at her. "This is your niece," she murmurs, and that's when she notices that it's not only Mur'dah at her bedside, icy-green eyes widening. "Darsce." No, she's not named the baby after their sister, but there could be some confusion there for a moment or two. "This is-" she starts to say, "I mean, she's your niece too." Obviously.

Mur'dah winces. "I can't, uh, imagine…" Dark eyes follow her touch to the flowers, then he leans into the hug, slipping his arm around her shoulders in return. "You just rest now, he's fine," the other brownrider murmurs. "Hi there niece," he says with a smile. "She have a name?" Darsce's arrival has Mur'dah a bit surprised, straightening up so he's not crowding his twin's bedside. "Hey, Darsce." He studies her face for a long moment and then offers a smile, his free arm extended for a hug or just to welcome her closer.

Faranth please no! One Darsce running around Xanadu is enough. She's silent as the twins greet each other, silently in the background, but she's taking in Marel's color and the baby's appearance looking for signs of… well, she really has no idea. Though green to white complexion would be a bad sign, right? Something like that. If she seems poised for flight, it's merely their imagination. Their surprise is hardly unexpected and she deserves it. Instead of making excuses for her long avoidance, she reiterates, "Hey guys," as she moves up beside Mur'dah to the cotside. Loquacious, she is not. No, rather awkward is Darsce, even though she permits Mur'dah's hug, shifting uneasily under his arm while attempting to aim a pat to Marel's arm. "She's beautiful. Like her mother." Sincere despite what they say about newborns. "How are you feeling?"

That Marel favours Darsce with study in turn is not so difficult to see, but anything she registers is, for the moment, kept to herself, her attention easily drawn back to the new addition to her life. She glances up at the ceiling when Mur'dah asks after her daughter's name, and it soon become apparent that she's tipped her head back in an effort to keep the shimmer of tears from becoming the real thing. "…I've named her after Mama," she says a little squeakily, right as she loses the battle with those tears. "And me and her father, too." Deep breath, then she says it out loud for what might be one of the first handful of times. "Thea-Nerys. But she'll be Nerri, I mean, for me and everyone else… day to day… you know?" She darts a look between her brother and her sister, just to try and see if she's made herself understood or sounds like a hysterical, post-labour mother. Attempting to compose herself, she answers Darsce's question and pat to her arm with an honest, "Kind of like I want to cry and sing and sleep all at the same time."

Mur'dah smiles faintly at Darsce, welcoming her closer before he looks down at his niece. The name has him swallowing thickly and nodding. "Yeah." Reaching out, he rests his hand on Marel's shoulder, giving it a firm squeeze. "It's a good name. A real good name."

Those long looks aren't missed by Darsce, but she doesn't seem to mind. Regardless, she doesn't comment about them, but keeps her attention on Marel though a faint smile answers Mur'dah's. She has questions - oh does she ever! Whether they'll ever get asked is another matter but she listens to Mu'rdah's. She's reaching to pull a chair closer when Marel answers, the timbre of her voice halts her effort for a moment while she swings a look back towards her half sis. Then she seats herself slowly and with less grace than is her norm. Her tunic pools in her lap, her hands twine and fidget while Marel's tears slip and the explanation is made. Thea. She nods soberly a few times, coughs quietly and mumbles, "It's pretty. I like it." Shapely brows rise at the answer to her own question. "You…do?" No, not sounding hysterical at all, there, Marel. "You've got one down," she teases dryly before the safer of her questions pops out, "So, what's the father's name? Ne-something, I assume?" It's just coincidence that her eyes shift to the foot of the cot, right? Or that she's noting the contours of the blanket before she exhales and seems to relax just a touch.

Marel shifts Nerri in her arms, watching for signs of the girl waking, but she slumbers on, oblivious to any scrutiny from her mother or aunt and uncle. She's a tiny thing, even for a newborn, and since Darsce's the one sitting down, she's the one who gets offered the baby to hold. "You want to…?" she asks, clearly leaning towards her as though to offer Nerri to her, though she's more than careful about the whole thing, still getting used to holding her herself. She paws at her eyes with the heel of one palm, then begins to shake her head, only to change her mind and nod, and ultimately ends up having to explain herself. "…I was a little liberal with using up our names, but— If or when he comes to see her…" Maybe they'll find out then, since she's still not giving him away. It's up at Mur'dah that she looks when she pleads, "Please don't let Daddy visit. I don't want to upset him and I don't— want him upsetting me either. Or causing problems for the Healers."

Mur'dah has given up caring who the father is. His twin has many secrets from him now. "Dad?" Oh, right. Mur'dah rubs the back of his neck. "I'll try…" But he's not going to stand guard outside. He'll tell the Healers not to admit him though. He looks back at Darsce and shifts a bit away when the baby is held out - no thank you. "How are you doing, Darsce?" he asks quietly.

Take? Baby? The panic that flares in Darsce's face despite her attempt to contain it, is mingled with a curious awe. Surprising herself, "Yes…" She does the opposite of Mur'dah, leaning to accept the tiny bundle, but her hands hover, arms awkward, uncertain to placement. Help? She doesn't press for the father's name, though at the mention of D'had she does interject with a snort of dark humor, "Probably better off a secret anyway, otherwise he'll kill the guy." An eyeroll follows, directed at their over-protective and unruly father. She won't be lurking around the infirmary either, not to see if she might glimpse Nerri's father nor to stop their own from disrupting things here. If her curiosity gets the better of her though, she'll just pick the lock on the file cabinets and read the birth records. She does belatedly offer something more helpful than sarcasm, "We can request a couple of guards be posted outside the doors?" Because one healer on duty in the graveyard shift might not suffice to repel him. Settling back - and hopefully she's not going to break Nerri doing it - she stares at the infant. Now what? Does she…talk to her, pet her or… Her uncertainty is comical. Mur'dah's question distracts her. How is she? She's afraid to look away from Nerri because, you see, babies are made of super-slippery. She might leak out of her arms to the floor if she's not careful. So she keeps her eyes glued to her niece and blurts out, "I'm pregnant."

Marel settles back against the pillows keeping her propped up, and closes her eyes for a moment or two once Nerri is settled in Darsce's arms, evidently trusting her not to drop her or let her escape (or anything along those lines) while she takes those few seconds to not sleep, but maybe to try and centre herself. "…I'm not staying here long," she murmurs, as if the decision is entirely hers. "It's sad… that guards have to be spoken of, when it comes to him. I wish he knew what he was like now." She does a good job of pretending not to notice her older sister's uncertainty, and it's as she seems to sink more heavily against those pillows that Darsce's answer to Mur'dah's question jolts her back from that potential slip towards dreamland, her eyes fixing on Nerri and Darsce at once. "Congratulations," she says softly, either too exhausted or careful enough not to be overbearingly ecstatic about it. "You'll soon have your own, then."

Mur'dah lets Darsce handle the baby stuff, shaking his head at the talk of their father. This is supposed to be /happy/ time. Unfortunately he can't help Darsce with her uncertainty. Then he jumps, and /stares/ at her. "You too?" Wait, 'too'? Oh wait, Nerri is out. "I mean, you…next…? Wow. Congratulations…are you excited?" He squirms a bit and laughs a little nervously. "Better get used to that then huh?" he asks, gesturing to the baby in her arms.

Darsce's head lifts, her eyes darting side to side for a moment. Did… those words just come out of her mouth? Damn it! She manages a crooked, but sheepishly-pleased grin nonetheless. "Yeah. Me next," she says weakly, dipping her head to eye the tiny baby girl with both wonder and dread. She seems fine - not broken or damaged - at least not yet. Excited? That might be the wrong word to describe how she feels, so she just murmurs, "Jethaniel is. Me…I want it." Happy time? Emotions don't move according to set schedules, but Darsce is not unduly distressed as she agrees with Marel about their father, "Yeah. But if he knew, I'm not sure he'd… care. He doesn't… deal very well." Speaking of dealing she coughs, "I Uh… I…" she glances first to Marel, then to Mur'dah, then bows her head back to Nerri as she mutters softly, "I'm sorry about your mom. I'm a bastard for not finding you both sooner… " Still no excuses, though she does add, "I thought about you a lot and I know you'll miss her very much." Subject chaaange, Darsce quick! And so, she lifts her head and perhaps not very wisely, asks in a rush, her concerned words coming out in an uncharacteristic tumble, "Marel Isyriath won't chase while you're… recovering…will he?"

It's not so difficult to Marel to understand Darsce's response concerning how she feels about being pregnant, and there's something painfully honest in the way in which she murmurs, "I know," regardless of any reply being necessary. It's a little easier to address that than the matter of her mother, which prompts her to close her eyes again to try and hide the flash of pain that won't so easily be fought down at the moment, not when she's already let those tears fall. "It's—" Okay, maybe, whether it is or not, but she can't quite get the words out, and gives a half-nod that could easily be acceptance or denial of the need for an apology. "You'll be a good mother, Darsce," she says gently, in place of anything about her own mother. "I'm glad she'll have a cousin close to her age." The matter of Isyriath prompts a quick and rather certain shake of her head. "No, he won't chase," she says simply, her confidence absolute, and maybe it's just as well that neither Darsce nor Mur'dah can see that her anklet is already, beneath the covers, back in place. "Your turn to make babies next, Muir…" she teases, having noted his shifting away from Nerri. Right now, she's got her own turn at that to recover from, and it's easily that she'll fall to listening to her siblings, until Nerri needs handing back or starts wailing, or until work pulls Darsce and Mur'dah away; whichever happens first.

Mur'dah reaches out his other hand to try and gently squeeze Darsce's shoulder, the one without ovaries offering sympathy to those who do. He's silent on the topic of their father, frowning, and he twitches a bit when Marel assures them Isyriath won't chase, his eyes flicking to the foot of the bed with distaste. He assumes it's there. Pulling his attention back to Darsce, he smiles a bit. "It's okay," he murmurs. "Thanks for thinking of us." He's gotten good at accepting sympathy. Taking a deep breath he lets out in a low snort. "Think Kiena has something to say about that…" he mutters.

Darsce can't quite look at either of them and so keeps iceblue eyes upon Nerri and simply nods. She peeks back up at Marel's assurance, then levels a skeptical look at her sister. Riiiight. She'll make a good mother like a feline enjoys swimming, maybe! "Let's hope," she says to Marel before glossed lips flicker a smile up to Mur'dah as she feels his hand on her shoulder. The smile turns smirky at Marel's teasing of him and she chimes in with a drawled, "I think Kiena might say the same. Like, 'You do the queasy, the morning sickness, getting pumpkin-shaped, labor…oh and the nursing too'. Betcha she won't fight you for that." Darsce? Might not tease her brother in his misery, but she might advertise Pern-wide and charge admission! Yes, it's a very good thing she can't see the anklet, for while she understood the original use of it, that original reason is now…dead. She'd likely be dismayed and not because of Nerri so much. After all, it take presence of mind to bend down and press that button. Surely the baby will also be settled somewhere safe in those moments. So she's relieved by Marel's answer and doesn't question it. She remains to chat for a few minutes longer before a jerk of her head motions Mur'dah closer. Then she'll stand and order, "Sit Squirt," and hand Nerri to him whether he wants her or not. "Give Marel a break, yeah? I need to scram." And then, having dumped the kid on her brother she'll escape back to the duties that keep her from thinking too much about impending motherhood.

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